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Headlines Are Screaming

Headlines are screaming 
and the 24/7 infotainment box lies 
smoldering in the living room like a nuclear reactor 
melting down, my own little piece of hell. 

Are property values up there 
or down this time of Depression? 

I was trying to escape, 
take the kids to the mall 
but the radio, good lord! 
Yes, the good lord 
plastered on every bumper now 
as cheapened and used 
as the explosion of patriotism 
that's stained every vehicle, shirt, hat 
and still standing building red 

white and blue were once virtuous 
purity and peace 
but now?  Oh how 

did we lose the war 
before it began? 

It was signed into law yesterday 
the clock turned back 
hard-wrought civil liberties lost 
in the blick of a blinded eye 
for an eye, vindictive hatred 
is righteous now 

But ( 
there is always a but) 
that was yesterday 
and I am not hiding today 
under reconnaissance perhaps 
but still looking out 
for that little glimmer of heart 
that one dimming glow 
of hope and peace and unity 
I have a dream... 
but it fades in the harsh sunlight 
grows hazy, indistinct, lost 

there is a trick though: 

John Dos Passos, 1919: 
"'Tis the final conflict, 
      Let each stand in his place 
The international party 
      Shall be the human race." 

Is it Communist or God?  Both 
have been claimed Nietzsche dead. 
Baha'u'llah was martyred by Islam 
an eon century ago, yet he prayed 

"The earth is but one country 
and mankind its citizens." 

I think, I believe 
things will simmer down, 
the pot stop boiling over, 
and the whistle screech silent 
if only 

I remember

                                     Thomas Fortenberry